Regulatory playing field for banks, nonbanks is anything but level

Policymakers in Washington often have the objective to level the regulatory playing field. But federal oversight of mortgage bankers has been anything but equitable.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was given authority to examine both bank and nonbank mortgage lenders, the idea being that nonbanks should not escape federal supervision because they were not FDIC-insured. But the fact is that 99% of banks (those under $10 billion in assets) are exempt from CFPB supervision. The same cannot be said about small, independently-operated nonbanks.

It is time for officials to pursue policies that truly make the playing field level so that all mortgage providers — nonbanks and banks — can continue to drive the housing recovery.

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